As we draw closer to our live discussion of The Umbra King on April 29th, let’s set the lay of the land. We open with a serial killer—our main character, Rory, who can read people’s auras and kills those who have black ones. This is rare, but as her latest victim is revealed on tv, a new man with a black soul walks into her bar. Rory is out to kill again. Only this time, she nabs one of the two men she’s been searching for this whole time. One of the men who murdered her twin sister and stole her soul.
This world is filled with magic and creatures set to certain roles based on their natures. You know, to keep everyone safe.
Types of Mystics
Mystic types and abilities are not hereditary. Ms. Applegate Hunter gives the following example:
“The heroine is Fey, her sister is a Shifter, her mother is a Sibyl, and her father is a Sylph.”
The following comes from the opening world guide at the front of The Umbra King:
Aatxe are big in stature with small bull-like horns and gentle souls. They are the only type of mystic allowed to be enforcers due to their purity and lack of malice.
The only mystics able to create potions and perform spells are Alchemists.
Angels have wings and can shapeshift between several forms. They have been in the two realms for an unknown amount of time.
Known as phantoms, Eidolons can walk through non-living objects except for iron.
Fey have pointed ears, are stronger and faster than other mystics, and are graceful and light on their feet. They can also see others’ souls from skin-to-skin contact.
Soul stealers, Merrows capture souls in a jar when someone dies. They absorb souls to heal their injuries and prolong their lives. Merrows must take a monthly potion to bind their abilities. The potion lasts for two months, but the monthly requirement gives enforcers time to catch them when they skip a dose.
Munin can manipulate memories. They are antisocial and live on the outskirts of town in a compound by choice. They don’t like spending time with other types of mystics.
The Royals are the rulers of the realms. They don’t possess mystic marks. The Lux King or Queen control light. The Umbra King or Queen rules darkness and shadows. The Scales of Justice are the final judge. Their ability to see the souls of the lesser mystics allows them to know a criminal’s punishment upon looking at them.
Creators of the realm, Seraphim also do not possess mystic marks. They reside in the aether as celestial beings. Large-winged and covered with feathers, only their eyes and mouths are revealed.
Shifters shift into one specific animal. Lacking animalistic qualities even when shifted. Their shifts are fast, and they return to their mystic form fully clothed.
A Sibyl is an Oracle, they can see every potential future once their abilities manifest. Usually in their 40s when their power manifests, their power consumes their minds by 60.
The Sylph manipulate air.
A Visitant controls the moods of others through skin-to-skin contact.
Realms of The Umbra King
Erdikoa is the life realm, consisting of The Capital, a sprawling city and the Lux Palace, where the Lux King rules. Enchanted by the Seraphim, any mystic other than the royals loses their memory upon leaving and regains it upon their return. They experience normal days and nights, powered by the inmates of Vincula and their essence, the magical power that gives mystics their abilities.
The dark realm, Vincula, lacks essence as the prison world for the mystics, ruled over by the Umbra King. Inmates lose their abilities when they arrive to power Erdikoa and become immortal during their stay. They, too, lose their memories upon leaving the large town. Those who do not live within the palace reside in a large apartment building with their own apartments. Vincula does not have normal days and nights, they have dusk and black nights without a moon or stars except for once a month.
Aether is where the Seraphim live and where the good souls go when they die.
The Seraphim created Hell, ruled by Orcus and open to all realms, regardless of who created them. Wicked souls go to Hell when they die.
Cast and Characters
Rory is our protagonist. As a Fey, she can only see in black and white except for people’s auras. She’s been seeking revenge for her sister’s murder for a long time, picking off other bad people as she searches. Her friends don’t know she is “The Butcher,” a serial killer.
Kordie is one of Rory’s friends. As an Alchemist, she owns a stylist shop and changes her hair color weekly.
Keith, another of Rory’s friends, is a wolf and a manwhore.
Dume is Rory’s best friend, an Aatake, and an enforcer. He is practically part of Rory’s family, having also been best friends with Cora when they were children.
Lenora, Rory’s mom, is a Sybil. She has more bad days than good days due to her powers.
Patrick is Rory’s dad.
Caius is the Umbra King, and he was sent to Vincula for five hundred years by his sister, where he plots his revenge, eventually destined for Hell. He is the king of monsters among men and the villain of everyone’s nightmares. Rory can see him in color and believes him to be Bane, the man who murdered her sister.
Bellina is a Visitant, usually peaceful, but she is in Vincula for killing her father-in-law to protect her wife. She meets Rory shortly after her arrival to measure her for clothes, and they quickly become friends.